Yong Ju Lee Hangang park

The Root Bench

Korean architect Yong Ju Lee creates a public art furniture that creates spatial connectivity.

Yong Ju Lee Hangang park Yong Ju Lee Hangang park Yong Ju Lee has installed a giant, branched out circle furniture inside Seoul’s Hangang park which was the reinterpretation of the winning proposal in the Hangang Art Competition.

Yong Ju Lee Hangang park

Yong Ju Lee Hangang park

This is circle-shaped branched out public furniture with a diameter of 30metre is installed in the grass and mimics the dynamic shape of roots spreading throughout the park.

Yong Ju Lee Hangang park

“It provides visual stimulus creating a strong contrast to the background of the spacious outdoor park. The main concept continued from the winning proposal is that the organic shape sprawling out from the center creates spatial connectivity,” says Lee. This is not just visual stimulation but is also a bench that people can rest on while sitting and leaning on its different heights.

Yong Ju Lee Hangang park Yong Ju Lee Hangang park The art piece was designed through computer algorithms that generated the bench’s three-dimensional geometry. This mathematical model, known as a reaction-diffusion system, describes the change in space and time of the concentration of one or more chemical substances. Thus, the overall radial form was generated with the installation merging into its background (grass). The metal frame with concrete footing supports the overall form as the main structure and the wooden deck covers it, making for comfortable seating.

Yong Ju Lee Hangang park Yong Ju Lee Hangang park “As well as suggesting a complete shape of a circle, the Root Bench is fused into the surrounding grass and blurs the boundary between artificial installation and natural environment,” interprets the architect, philosophically.

Yong Ju Lee Hangang park It is finished in three different heights: child chair (250mm), adult chair (450mm), and table (75mm). The rhythmical shape can suggest fresh stimulation to Hangang Park and provide various aspects of interaction and relaxation.

Yong Ju Lee Hangang park Since we have associated social distancing as the new way of life, we ask the architect, if the bench is practical during and after Covid times.

Yong Ju Lee Hangang park

Lee opinions that the bench is fully functional and as the benches are distributed far enough, they are safe to be enjoyed even during the COVID19 era.

Yong Ju Lee Hangang park

But he also cautions that architects need to think and design keeping these factors in mind, “We should think about the environment more directly than ever before. Also, other scientific concepts should be fused into our design.”
Yong Ju Lee Hangang park Yong Ju Lee Hangang park


Project name: Root Bench

Architect’s Firm: Yong Ju Lee Architecture


Project location: 302-17 Ichon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul

Completion Year: 2018

Gross Built Area: 700 sqm

Lead Architects: Yong Ju Lee

Design team: Seung Joon Lee, HyeokJun Dong, Seongmin Moon

Construction: Sunjin Plus

Client: Hangang Art Park

Photo credits: Kyungsub Shin, Dae Won Lee, Kyung Mo Choi, Yong Ju Lee Architecture

Yong Ju Lee Hangang park